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Daniela Rodriguez, MD
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Enhancing the Natural You

Facelift

A Facelift (Rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure designed to smooth and firm the skin, providing a fresh, youthful appearance.  Throughout one’s life, the sun’s radiation, stress, gravity, and other factors cause the skin to sag and fit more loosely.  Areas of the face and neck, in particular around the jaw line, are especially prone to the aging process.  Though these changes are gradual, wrinkles and other signs of aging can make individuals “feel older” than they really are.

Surgery for a facelift involves the contraction and realignment of facial and neck skin, and in some instances the removal of excess fat deposits.  A facelift is often performed in combination with other facial cosmetic procedures and can be performed any time signs of aging begin to appear.  However, patients are generally in their forties or older when they elect to undergo this procedure.

Reasons for Considering a Facelift:

  • Sagging skin, muscles, and fat in the face and neck.
  • Excess skin and fat on the neck.
  • Sagging jaw line.
  • Crease lines along the nose, mouth, and chin.

General Procedure

The standard procedure for a facelift commonly involves making small incisions just inside the hairline, following the contour in front of the ear, and continuing under the earlobe to the backside of the ear and to the lower scalp.  Tissue and fat deposits are separated, the skin is stretched and tightened, and any excess skin is removed.  If the neck line requires attention, an additional incision is made under the chin and the same procedure is again followed.  Minuscule stitches are used to close the incisions and to reduce any chance of scarring. Staples may also be utilized at the hairline.

A face lift may take several hours or longer depending on whether other cosmetic procedures are completed at the same time.  There are several different facelift techniques ( mini, modified, or full) that can be employed.  Patients can discuss with Dr. Rodriguez which method is best for them when they come in for their consultation. Each patient will have their facelift custmized to their own unique needs by Dr. Rodriguez.

Recovery Process

Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing and recovery process.  The stitches, or staples are normally removed within a week. Patients sometimes report some minor pain associated with surgery.  Any discomfort can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions given after the procedure. Patients normally may return to work in two weeks.

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